ECSU’s Khan Planetarium Gets a Digital Upgrade

Planetarium gets an upgrade at Elizabeth City State University

August 29, 2019 

Starting September 4, 2019, there’s a whole new way to view our solar system as well as the universe at Elizabeth City State University’s Khan Planetarium. It’s a digital state-of-the-art experience and it connects the planetarium to a worldwide science data repository that will update itself with the latest discoveries in space science. That means students as well as repeat visitors will always have something new to see and learn.

“The things we will be able to do are just stunning,” said James Reynolds, the new director of Kahn Planetarium. “We will be able to serve the University’s educational and research mission as well as the larger community.” The digital upgrade to projection, lighting and sound systems is called the Digistar 6 Projection System.

Full dome digital technology has become the norm for planetariums worldwide, offering high resolution and multi-media image production. Visitors will experience panoramic views of the stars and the universe. The Khan Planetariums is the first in the state to have the Digistar 6 system. It was funded by a $600,000 grant from the Department of Defense.

The planetarium will be working closely with ESCU’s aviation program. Classes from area school districts will also be able to take advantage of the new system. Kahn Planetarium opened in 1990. It’s been teaching students and adults about the planets and how to find the North Star ever since. The planetarium was closed for several months while the upgraded system was installed.

“There’s a lot we can do for the entire community,” said Kuldeep Rawat, Dean of Science, Technology and Engineering and Director of ECSU’s Aviation Science program. “It opens up a whole new universe.”

—Frank Graff 

 Frank Graff is a producer/reporter with UNC-TV, focusing on Sci NC, a broadcast and online science series.